Too much TV linked to future fast-food intake

Jan 30, 2009

High-school kids who watch too much TV are likely to have bad eating habits five years in the future. Research published in BioMed Central's open access International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity followed almost 2000 high- and middle-school children and found that TV viewing times predict a poor diet in the future.

Dr Daheia Barr-Anderson worked with a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota to investigate the relationship between television and diet. She said, "To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between television viewing and diet over the transition from adolescence into young adulthood. We've shown that TV viewing during adolescence predicts poorer dietary intake patterns five years later".

Stronger and more consistent patterns were seen during the transition from high school to young adulthood than during the transition from middle school to high school. Both are critical developmental periods, where lifelong behaviours are formed. The authors found that those high-school kids who watched more than five hours of television per day had a lower intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich foods; and higher intakes of snack foods, fried foods, fast food, sugar-sweetened beverages, and trans fats five years later.

According to Barr-Anderson, "These less than healthy foodstuffs are commonly advertised on television while healthy foods rarely receive the same publicity. Although young people may be aware that many foods advertised on television are not healthy, they may chose to ignore or do not fully realize the consequences, because the actors they see advertising and eating the foods in the commercials are usually not overweight".

Barr-Anderson and her colleagues have called for action to tackle television adverts for food and drinks. They say, "The potential negative impacts of advertising and marketing campaigns on dietary quality and purchasing behavior show that, as well as devising interventions to reduce television viewing time, we need to promote healthy food choices, in general and while watching television, to overcome harmful media influences".

Reference: Does television viewing predict dietary intake five years later in high school students and young adults?
Daheia J Barr-Anderson, Nicole I Larson, Melissa C Nelson, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer and Mary Story
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (in press), www.ijbnpa.org/

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Doctor describes importance of interpretation in patient care

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Promoting love can punish sales

Mar 12, 2014

Valentine's Day has come and gone. But those images of romance are still everywhere : a happy couple holding hands in an eharmony ad, two lovebirds sharing a tender kiss in a Nikon camera commercial.

Recommended for you

Lack of sleep increases risk of failure in school

26 minutes ago

A new Swedish study shows that adolescents who suffer from sleep disturbance or habitual short sleep duration are less likely to succeed academically compared to those who enjoy a good night's sleep. The ...

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthcare?

27 minutes ago

"Obamacare"—was signed into law in 2010 and promised the largest overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the 1960s. Designed to provide medical care to uninsured Americans, it has been widely decried ...

Health woes to worsen due to climate change, study warns

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Coupled with worldwide marches demanding action on climate change, a new study warns that rising temperatures and altered weather patterns in the United States may soon exacerbate many existing ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

seanpu
not rated yet Jan 30, 2009
well done! must have received a degree in the bleeding obvious.